Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Shimmer

She left it on the kitchen table.  There is often so much stuff on the kitchen table after a full night of homework in my house that it’s hard to tell what is good and what is junk.  But karma told me to read it and I am glad I did.  I kept it too.

I think every parent looks for glimpses of talent or ability in their children.  Some to brag but hopefully mostly to encourage.  What better thing to do than to support a child’s love of anything.  To see the smile on a child’s face when they are really happy doing something is the best gift a child can give to a parent.  And that should be anything: woodworking, horseback riding, analytical geometry, music, you name it. Pure joy is a wonderful thing.  You can’t fake it.  It shows both outwardly and inwardly. You want to get your picture taken with it.  You want to scream it from the highest mountain. You should be drunk with it without the alcohol.  

True love should be like that too.

My middle daughter wrote an essay about her friends.  I hardly ever get a glimpse of what she’s thinking lately. Fifteen year old girls can be quite secretive.  I should know, I was one once. I  know all her girlfriends by their very elegant ethnic forenames but the boys are hard.  They all have some sort of nicknames.  And all five of them seem to be named Matt or Max. One is called “Greenie”  and the other "Goldie" after their respective last names and yet another  “B.C.” since his last name is hyphenated.  I kid her by asking her if it stands for “Before Christ” but that’s my sense of odd and irreverent  humor. I don't think there's a Max A.D. There's not too many people nowadays claiming Roman heritage.

Her piece about her friends was surprisingly heartfelt, descriptive and very moving. Now I think I know who is who. Better yet I think I know better who my fifteen year old is now. She writes beautifully. And I could tell she enjoyed the exercise. The words just flowed.  To use Joan Didion’s concept of writing: she sees the “shimmer.”

I hope to encourage this in her.  She’s a good student, loves science and got an A- on this assignment.

But that wasn't the point.

I see a shimmer now in her too.

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